Instructor: Professor Paul Litt

This course provides an overview of the main issues and big events of Canadian political history since Confederation. Lectures, readings and in-class exercises will introduce students to the people, problems and controversies that have characterized Canadian political history. The course is chronological in structure with in-depth exploration of interaction over time of the following themes:

  • Canada as a Modern Project
  • Settler-Colonialism, Racism and Immigration
  • State Formation & Nation-Building
  • Liberal Democracy and Social Justice
  • Party Politics and Leadership

The purpose of instruction and assignments is to develop student knowledge of the above themes and to develop the following disciplinary skills:

Skill Description
Historical Consciousness How past eras compare to each other and to contemporary times, & how an appreciation of the similarities and differences informs and enriches our understanding of the world
Research How to find sources of information relevant to a specific topic from the past that are not generally known or readily available, and how to interpret them.
Historical Methodology How to marshal evidence from primary and secondary sources of information about the past to support an argument with reliable evidence. How history functions as an interpretive approach that explains phenomena, past and present, as the product of causal factors interacting over time.
Analysis How to make judgments about ambiguous objects of inquiry by identifying, inter-relating and weighing the relative significance of diverse types of information, finding meaningful factors and patterns, and constructing an argument about the origins, nature, and implications of historical phenomena.
Oral Communication How to articulate ideas, raise questions and discuss issues in a group setting.
Writing How to write clear and correct prose, structure material strategically, and communicate an argument effectively in a scholarly essay format

There will be one three-hour class per week that will consist of lectures, class discussions, small group teamwork, interactive exercises and short written assignments. Evaluation will be based on one or two short written assignments, a research essay, class participation, completion of in-class assignments and an in-class test and/or exam.